Saturday, August 29, 2015

CPRR and UPRR grading past each other


I understand that the CPRR and UPRR graders past each other by a considerable distance, but is there any record of when and where they 'met', and is there any physical evidence today showing the 'unused' grades (Google maps?)?

One can only imagine the reaction when one day graders from one RR looked into the distance and saw their opposites approaching. ...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rails met at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869.

They graded about 200 miles past each other, but that wasn't a mistake – the two railroads were being paid by the mile and the location where they would meet had not yet been finalized.

8/29/2015 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I know the rails met at Promontory, but where did the graders meet and subsequently pass? Logic states that the graders from both RR's went past Promontory and that one RR must have used part of the others grade.

It must have been an interesting moment, and then they would have known that the RR would soon be finished.

8/30/2015 5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subject: Re: Maps and remaining physical evidence of railroads grading past each other near Promontory Summit

If you visit Golden Spike National Monument the is ample evidence of the double grades. Several of their auto loops include significant sites with both grades found.

Of particular note is an unfinished UP cut west of Promitory, sill showing the stair step digging style. East of Promitory, the two grades allow you to see the differnces in construction style (CP built great fills while UP built trestles)

There are also stories of grading crews setting off blasts in the vicinity or above their rivals ...

—Randy Hees

8/30/2015 5:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also see, Promontory Summit, May 10, 1869 ... by Robert L. Spude, 2005.

8/30/2015 5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The first point of interest in the National Historic Site is the 1.5 mile (loop) Big Fill Trail, which tours parts of both the competing rail lines, each clearly visible as they cross the road from north to south."

8/30/2015 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Map showing CPRR and UPRR parallel grades.

8/30/2015 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Map of Golden Spike National Historic Site.

8/30/2015 6:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Wendell Huffman"

Bear in mind that grading was not done in a continuous line, but in segments, often isolated. CP graders worked in the Palisade Canyon 300 miles in advance of other graders working closer to the rail head near the California-Nevada line. This was done due to the perceived difficulty of this area. UP graders were sent far ahead to Wells, NV – in a vain attempt to "claim" the line to that point. All it took were surveyors to stake out the location.


8/30/2015 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "

I so wish I owned a time-machine. Thanks for all the info.

[Links added]

8/31/2015 8:45 AM  

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